Bikestock Comes to the Valley

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Earlier this week I was concerned my fever dreams of bike-centric development for the Valley would founder on the shoals of low turnout.  Ours would be the first CicLaVia in which no one from the neighborhood showed up.  In my more cynical moments, the Valley can be reliably disappointing.

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It didn’t take long to see my concerns were unfounded.

Really unfounded.  For a few hours Ventura Blvd was Beijing, 1972.

For a few hours Ventura Blvd was Beijing, 1972.

Except with more dogs

Except with more dogs…

And Go Pro cameras

…and Go Pro cameras

And street dancers

Street dancers.

Whole families with sno-cones

Whole families with sno-cones

Everybody got their freak on

Everybody got their freak on

Cigar, Big Gulp and gold rims.  Enough said.

Cigar, Big Gulp and gold rims. The 818, tableau vivant.

Night Soliloquy

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Do not forsake this woman, whatever you do.

Forget cheating on her.

If you do, do not fall asleep with pruning shears in the house.

Don’t tell her she needs to lose weight.

When asked for the truth, tell her what she wants to hear.

If you’re becoming bored, feign delight.

Cause there is no way you are breaking up with her.

She will have something to say about that.

Like she did the last guy.

The mystery of Norah’s Place

Quarter to eight and not a soul in the joint

Quarter to eight on a mid-summer’s eve and not a soul in the joint

There are certain mysteries of the Valley I have yet to unravel, and one of them is how this restaurant manages to stay open without customers, despite having, after Pit Fire grill, perhaps the second best location on Lankershim Blvd.  Great corner building. 270 degree visibility. Natural feng shui. Easy parking.  Foot traffic most restaurants would kill for.  Ample room for sidewalk tables. A neighborhood on the come up…a live theater district in short walking distance. And yet…every time I go by…empty!  How is this possible?

Maybe it has something to do with the food. Or the service. Or the decor…it just cries out for Gordon Ramsay.

Once and future Barrel

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The former La Cana restaurant (and former Rudy’s Keg, and before then, the Idle Hour Cafe), shuttered since 1984, has been purchased by the folks who own the Bigfoot Lodge in Atwater and is now undergoing restoration into….well, I’m not sure exactly.  But it will preserve the original contours of the structure, one of the final examples of programmatic architecture left standing in LA.  And if there are cocktails, have no doubt they will start at $12.

The Barrel